by Evelyn Haggett
He hath made everything beautiful in his time: also, he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11
Do you ever try to run ahead of God? Sometimes we make our plans first, and then we ask the Lord to put them in place. The bible says that we can make plans, but we must remember that the Lord orders our steps (Proverbs 16:9). Sometimes the Lord allows circumstances to alter our plans and change our direction. I love the times in my life that God has revealed Himself in the simple daily things. It helps when you come across bigger things, to have that relationship with Him. I encountered God in this way several years ago, when He took my family on a journey that was completely unexpected. It was not a part of the plan, but God allowed it, because He knew ultimately it would change us forever. My husband Joe was diagnosed with colon cancer. He was scheduled for surgery that Friday. The following Tuesday we were focusing on our plans for our other children and for the farm. Little did we know that our plans would change, as we learned our 16-year-old daughter Karyn was in a terrible automobile accident. One of her close friends died and our daughter was injured with a broken neck. She was airlifted and went into immediate surgery that lasted 9 hours. 38 of our friends, relatives, and pastors prayed with us during this time. After surgery we were in for a long road of recovery. She had sustained serious nerve damage. They had fused the part of the cervical spinal cord. It’s not easy to watch your little girl struggle in the ICU for over a week, and then watch her unable to walk for several more weeks. We had to accept this reality; that there was nothing we could do. She went from being a vibrant, active teenager, to a helpless little girl sporting a halo that became part of her for the next four months. She would re-learn how to do even the simplest tasks. There is more to this story that I will gladly share another time, but I want to focus back in on the incredible lesson that God had taught us through all of this.
While Karyn was in rehab, I would spend time with other patients and their families. We would quite often visit in a sunroom where we would work on puzzles to fill up our time. One day I came into the room and the puzzle was still there undone, but the box with the entire picture was missing. I knew it would be easy to try to fit all the pieces together without knowing the end result. I felt the Lord say to me “Do you trust me with the pieces of your life? Do you trust me for Karyn’s healing? Your family?” He continued to tell me that He intended to work all of this out for good. And that I did not need to see the whole picture. That He would going to give me only the pieces I needed for each day, and to trust Him to provide the rest in His timing. It was a precious thing to learn how to trust in Him with each new day, instead of stressing or spending countless hours trying to figure out what the future would hold for us, and how we would handle it. The verse that we meditated on and kept close to our hearts during this time was Jeremiah 29:11. It gave us a sense of the Lord’s presence; His strength, peace, and love. It says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God is so faithful and good to us as we walk with Him daily; trusting Him on our journey. Joe has been cancer free for many years, and Karyn made a full recovery and continued her journey to bible college and is now married. Her and her husband have been in ministry for many years, and we still share this testimony with others.
“In His time, in His time. He makes all things beautiful in His time. Lord, my life to you I bring, may each song I have to sing, be to you a lovely thing, in your time.”